One of the secrets behind the Chrysler UConnect system 's stability and speed has been the QNX operating system it is built on; while Ford is using an adaptation of Windows Mobile, Chrysler is relying on a UNIX-like operating system created for embedded systems. Originally created by Canadian QNX Software, QNX is now developed by Research In Motion, the maker of Blackberry phones.



The first release of QNX was in 1982; the operating system was used for computers and robotics. POSIX support was later added, making it easier to move UNIX packages to the system (networking is based on NetBSD). QNX Software focused on automation in the 1990s and 2000s; prioritized messaging is built in.

QNX Software was purchased by Harman International in 2004, speeding its adoption in auto navigation and telematics. Research in Motion (RIM, the Blackberry company) bought the QNX in 2010, and quickly released a tablet based on the system.

Chrysler has already announced that UConnect 2 would include support for apps, vetted by Chrysler and available through wireless downloads. Chrysler and RIM are reportedly working on full Blackberry 10 integration, which would allow it to any apps developed using the standard BB10 SDK, and, in theory, allow it to run any apps that run on Blackberry phones. Porting from Android should also be relatively smooth.

For numerous reasons, including the need for complete stability and security, Chrysler is likely to have very high standards for which apps are available.

Chrysler's UConnect is one of six finalists for AOL Autos' Technology of the Year Award, with UConnect 2 going up against similar systems from Audi, Cadillac, and Ford, as well as Honda's "LaneWatch" and Nissan's tire pressure monitor/refiller. Voting ends at noon today.

More on UConnect 2 • Vote for UConnect at AOL (Image from 2013 Ram gauge cluster)